Thursday, September 16, 2010

More Humility, with Tri-Tip

Coal last Sunday at the Hagemann Ranch fun trial (photo by T. Tucker)
I just love this photo of Coal taken last Sunday at the Hagemann Ranch. We ran in a "fun" trial generously hosted near Bodega Bay by the Hagemann family. There were three "celebrity" judges to score the runs, all handlers from days gone by who have won many a trial in the Redwood Empire style.

We were treated to fresh sheep who had no use for a dog. This proved to be quite difficult for those of us who (a) have no opportunity to train on fresh sheep and/or (b) have dogs who have little to no experience working truly fresh sheep. Coal lifted them and then eventually I retired on the fetch before he blew up. I was told later that I should have let him blow. It is all about factor (c) the handler who has so little experience running the dog on fresh sheep and knowing what to do with that elusive split-second timing. Another comment from one of the judges was something along the order that our trial dogs of today might be too obedient. Something to think about. Well I would think about it more intelligently if I understood the concepts more completely. Let's just say it's all more of that humbling learning experience that is dog trialling and the tricky balance between what is just enough and what is too much.

Afterwards we had a wonderful potluck that was centered around grilled tri tip at the Hagemann Trout Farm, a lovely location. If nothing else the Redwood people do truly know how to serve and eat a great meal!

Fortunately we do not have any trials for a few weeks. Whew! Coal, Rime and I are working on our various assignments until our trainer gets back from the Finals. I am hoping to show progress or if nothing else, no de-evolution! Sigh. Pass that jug of humility this way, would ya?

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